Entrance to Holly Village
H. A. Darbishire
Swain's Lane and Chester Road, Highgate, North London
Over the entrance archway is inscribed, "Holly Village Erected By A. G. B. Coutts A.D. 1865." The sculptures on either side are idealised representations of Baroness Burdett-Coutts herself and her governess and long-time companion, Mrs Hannah Brown. Burdett-Coutts holds a pet dog, and Mrs Brown holds a dove. With its "huge indulgence in flamboyant detail" (Davies 315), Holly Village is a unique example of full-blown Victorian Gothic in a residential complex. The wrought iron gate beneath the entrance archway makes it perhaps the first example of a gated housing development.
Photograph and text 2008 by Jacqueline Banerjee.
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